Freddie Mercury tried to push Wayne Sleep to come out as gay
The 69-year-old dancer didn't reveal his sexuality until after his mother Joan Sleep passed away when he was in his forties because he didn't want to "hurt her", but his close friend Freddie - who tragically died from AIDS in 1991 - kept trying to encourage him to follow in his footsteps and share is sexual orientation to the public
12 January 2018
Speaking to Ashley James in tonight's (10.01.18) episode of 'Celebrity Big Brother', Wayne said: "I wouldn't come out when my mother was alive because it would have hurt her so much. It was crazy. I was a one-parent family. She'd had me out of wedlock in 1948. In those days it was thought of as a sin - she was 25 years old, she wasn't a baby. I waited until she passed because people like my friends - I had a friend called David Hockney, he was a painter, and Freddie Mercury and that - they were going: 'Come on, come out, come out!' I was in my 40s when I came out."
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The British choreographer was shocked when he was told that former Queen frontman - who was in a relationship with Jim Hutton for seven years leading up to his death - had died after contracting bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS because the gay people around him appeared to be "dropping like flies."
He explained: "He was amazing, he was so generous. He loved the ballet and the opera so he'd come to the opera house to see us dance and then I became friends with him. He died of AIDS when he was 48/49 - I can't remember. It happened so suddenly. We were all shocked. They were dropping like flies. We didn't know what it was so you didn't know why people were dying. They thought it was just a gay disease so they didn't bother to act on it until hetrosexuals started getting it."